The Imp Before Christmas
Once, an imp broiled a dose of trouble for a well meaning village. Trouble
meant an imminent suicide for one poor character. Suicide meant a self-killing that would
surprise the residents beyond the ordinary church theft, death by exposure, or child's
epidemic of pneumonia. No one expects genuine trouble or the kind of trouble an imp would
care to brew. Another story could be written about true-life trouble, but this story is
not about life, but about imps and trouble. Let the story begin, or do I reveal the end.
Ambiguity makes this story postmodern, and I'm into that sort of thing. Do not expect any
details yet though. Art needs to happen gradually. Safely say that I'm foreshadowing
something, then implying that the story is set at Christmas time and that the Imp holds
little remorse for his evil. On the solstice, nights are long and demons aren't
Trouble was a suicide, but high proof rum
was the trouble as it was brewing in the Imp's pot. Trouble was also a ten-year-old,
trapped by the Imp to become fifth business for this story. Captured children are scared.
Deathly scared. A scared child will agree to deliver trouble to almost anyone so as not to
be scared. Too bad this trouble had to come to you. Sure, you can deny it, but it did and
you regretted it. Go and search your memory, friend, this story is about you and your
bottle of rum. Outside you looked in your new zen koan-gora sweater and chocolate-coloured
loafers, because the sun was out. Totally oblivious to your neighbours, of course.
Sociability was never your strong suit. Outside you looked in your new zen koan-gora
sweater and chocolate-coloured loafers, because the sun was out and you wanted to see the
sweet touche of your neighbours that you never had the guts to socialize with. Have you
ever found yourself more happy on a sunny day? Softly, you admit to yourself, "no I
haven't ever found myself more happy on a sunny day looking outside in my new zen
koan-gora sweater and chocolate-coloured loafers and seeing a sweet neighbour's
touche." What a laugh you are, and I know this because I'm magical and own
forty-three times the number of action figures than anybody on this earth. Happily you
looked at touche. Rumour had it trouble was brewing. Terrified, the child did as told,
spitting gravel out the soles of his sneakers while he ran.
Paths often lead to important homes.
Recognizing the path that led to your home, the scared child followed it straight away
with the bottle of high-proof rum. Tapped on your door, he did. Unwilling to face you as
you came to the door, he left the bottle for you outside. Magnanimously, (since you're the
hero) you took the bottle in and nursed it into your arms. So much for your consciousness.
Reverie does not bring up that evening, does it? To formulate a subtle hint, you probably
don't recognize the fifty people you slept with that evening either. Happily you enjoyed
rum. Profoundly upset was your lover of over 15 years. And just before Christmas too, you
just had to drop that high-proof rum into your vegetarian okra-nog and drink it. "To
us," you said at last swig, meaning only the four visions of yourself you saw in the
mirror. Love became only a secondary thought. Indeed, you had lost all your faculties.
Quasi-coherent, you called a cab and hit the town. Everyone had fun with you. Fabulous
night it was. People recognized the underground music scene returning to high popularity
and therefore left it quite etymologically false.
To the suicide part. I suppose you
thought it was you or your lover who did it. Well, you are wrong. Overall, with the
exception of this one rum night (that you don't remember), your life continues to be
boring. Women think you are physically repulsive, as do men. Just a bishop commits suicide
in this story. After witnessing all your debauchery, he couldn't take it anymore. At about
3pm there is a funeral being held for him with 56 pall bearers. Back at your house, things
are still stable. Family life for you will include 4 accountant children. Over at the
diocese, people are surprised. They never could have expected such trouble. Could you
have? Like, it was Christmas and everything! Holly berries decked the halls. Terrence the
vicar passed out the figgie pudding. All else was peace and good will. Take my word for
it. What? Complacent am I? What? Sarcastic too? That's just too bad. Believe my story or
not, it's as promised. Christmas and imps and a clergy suicide made it, I think. The
internet was overrun with jokes about a bishop finding out that canon law had typos and
the word "celibate" was supposed to be "celebrate."
Gave this story to my publisher. Always
the joker, she thought I should commit suicide. Perfectly alternative off-beat adventure
story like this and she turned it down. Success is delayed for a while. In due time will
she regret this. God Awful publisher she is!